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Amber&emerald: Chapter 53

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#1 Nimloth

Posted 01 February 2020 - 03:57 PM

Author note: in my storyline, Keldorn divorced from his wife after he caught her red-handed cheating on him with sir William of Thorpe (who was not at all a ‘spent candle’) three years before the events of SOA, so when Meg and her party met him during the Unseeing Eye quest, his marriage to Maria was already over. I head-canon Keldorn as being in his early forties. Sunny Harbenger is an original character of my creation.




First things first
I'ma say all the words inside my head
I'm fired up and tired of the way that things have been
…(Imagine Dragons, “Believer”)


After contacting the organizations in the city they had worked for, the party members met at the Coronet for lunch, all of them save Jaheira, who was still out. "Ah, there she is!", Meg smiled at her as the druidess finally approached their table, "What news from your associates? Will they help?". Jaheira sat down, her expression was cautious, "I have news, but first I’d like to know whether your day has been profitable".


"Fair enough. Okay, Linvail said he’s going to send his best assassins, or at least the best among those who’re still alive, to join us in the Graveyard District. The Church of Helm will send five Watchers and we will also have the help of a small contingent of Order members, with none other than sir Keldorn leading them". The Half-Elf allowed herself a small smile, "Thank Silvanus".


"Your turn: what did the Harpers say?". "They may help, but they want to meet you first, to...". "To make sure I won’t eat their men for breakfast, I suppose. All right, when?". "Now, if you don’t mind". Meg’s eyebrows shot up, but she rose from her seat all the same, "Now? Well, the sooner, the better. I’m ready".



As they entered the building, the Ilmatari looked around, surprised to see it nearly empty, "Where is everyone? I expected them to have a small army waiting for the Big Bad Scary Bhaalspawn. I feel nearly insulted", she joked and Jaheira cuffed her on the head as usual. "Be quiet, child, now is not the moment for this nonsense". "Sorry".


In the main room, they found five Harpers waiting for them: two were clearly mages, one of whom held an unrolled scroll; another held a crossbow in his hands and the fourth wielded a shortsword. The last one, standing in the middle of the group, was a tall man wearing fine silk clothes, who had sharp but pleasant features, dark eyes and black hair.


As he saw the two women, he stepped forward, "Ah, Jaheira, it is good to see you again, my dear". The druidess narrowed her eyes and her body tensed as she saw him, "Spare me your falsehoods, Galvarey. We are not here to waste our time with you, we were summoned by the Herald...". "Exactly. I summoned you here".


She blinked, taken aback, "What? You’re not a Herald! What is the meaning of this?". "All in due time, my dear. Now, I see you have brought the Spawn, as requested". The Painbearer bowed slightly, "A pleasure to meet you, Galvarey, I am Margaret Dawn". "Uhm. Your manners seem good enough, for one of your kind.


As do your looks...", he massaged his chin, his eyes roaming over her form for a moment, then he shook himself and squared his shoulders, glaring at her, "Enough pleasantries. I need to ask you some questions and I am confident that you will answer". "No problem, ask away". "What is your first memory? Is it a happy one?".


The young priestess smiled, her gaze lost in a faraway moment, "Oh, yes, it is: the first thing I remember is snuggling in my brother’s arms to sleep as a child". "Your brother?". "Well, yes, Sarr...Sarevok".


He nodded, his lips twisting into a cold smile, "Sarevok Anchev, you mean. A renowned criminal and murderer and a Spawn as well. A monster". "Take that back!", she snarled, eyes flashing golden as her left hand slipped to the hilt of her mace, "He’s not a monster, he’s a wonderful man, better than you could ever hope to be and I won’t let you badmouth him!".


Galvarey’s smile turned smug, "Such anger...Not that it surprises me, considering your heritage. I am sure you would like to maul me, wouldn’t you, Bhaalspawn?". Jaheira grabbed Meg’s hand and whispered, "Calm down, Meg: if he perceives you as a threat, things will only get worse".


Her ward gritted her teeth, but reluctantly nodded, "Fine, but another word against Sarry and I’ll hand him his arse on a silver platter, is that clear?", she whispered back, then she raised her voice addressing the wannabe-herald, "I apologize for my outburst. Do you have other questions?".


"In fact, I do", he said, "Tell me, as a Bhaalspawn, do you have violent thoughts?". "Well...Sometimes, yes", she admitted, "Though I resort to violence only when I must". His smugness increased at that, "So you must use violence. Just as I expected of one with your tainted blood".


"You are twisting her words!", Jaheira snapped, irritated, "That’s not what she meant!". He shot her a condescending look, "How can you be sure of it? Can you understand the thoughts of a Beholder, or of an Illithid? She is just like them, my dear: a dangerous, bloodthirsty monster".


"She is not a monster and this is nothing but a farce!". "The interview will proceed nonetheless", he shot a quick look at the mage holding the scroll and after receiving a subtle nod, addressed the priestess once again, "Tell me, Spawn, what is your favourite colour?". Meg blinked, "Excuse me? What does my favourite colour have to do with you helping us against Bodhi?", she asked, baffled.


"Answer me and I will answer you". "Okay...My favourite colour is amber". "Amber! It, uh...", Galvarey mulled over it for a long moment, unsure, then shrieked, "It’s yellow! The colour of ichor, or of an infected wound oozing pus!". "Suuure...", the Ilmatari tugged on Jaheira’s sleeve, lowering her voice, "How in the Nine Hells come this raving lunatic has not been locked up in Spellhold yet?".


Before the druidess could answer, the man regained his composure, "It is as I thought: this creature is dangerous and corrupted, everything she says proves it. It is my duty to confine her where her evil won’t be a threat to the world anymore". The Half-Elf paled with anger, "Don’t even think of it, Galvarey!


She is not a threat to the world and I see your game now: you plan to use the imprisonment of a Bhaalspawn as a ladder to reach the position of Herald! I won’t...". "Think carefully on your next words, my dear Jaheira: you are a Harper, just like us. I trust you won’t turn on your own people, will you now? It could turn out badly for you", Galvarey said smoothly and she hesitated. "I...".


Margaret Dawn intervened, her tone was icy, "Look, Galvarey, frankly I don’t give a damn about you, your petty ambitions and your deranged plans: I came here because I hoped the Harpers could help us in taking Bodhi down, but since it’s clear that you are as useful as a possum’s fart, we are taking our leave. Come, Jae, we’re finished here ", she concluded, taking the druidess’ hand and walking towards the door with her.


"Not so fast, Bha...", Galvarey tried to say, but she quickly took a bottle out of her pack and tossed it at his feet. "A little gift for you", she explained, just before the glass shattered and a green fog started spreading inside the room, then she ran outside as fast as she could, stopping only when she found herself back in the square.


Jaheira followed her, but her lovely features were twisted with worry, "What was in that bottle, Meg?". Meg grinned mischievously, "Oh, don’t worry, I didn’t kill them...Though they’ll probably wish they were dead. That was a little something Immy learnt how to make from one of the inmates in Spellhold: a smoke that smells ten times worse than a skunk’s spray. It’s completely harmless, but I’m positive that from now on, they will think twice before messing with a Bhaalspawn again".


The Half-Elf gave her a stunned look, then burst out laughing, "You are incredible". "Heh, thanks. Thing is, I don’t want you to be in trouble with the Harpers and killing Galvarey and his cronies would have made it difficult for you to still be part of their organization. Besides, it would have proven them that I am a monster and we would have had the whole Harper contingent on us for their deaths", she sighed, "I’ve got enough people out for my blood as it is. I sure as Hell don’t need more of them".


"Don’t think about it now. Come, let’s go back to the inn: I still have to have lunch and my stomach is starting to protest", the druidess smiled and took her ward by the hand, walking away from the Harper hold.



After lunch, the party, along with Drizzt’s group, began rallying their allies, going first to the Docks to meet with the small group of Shadows Thieves promised by Linvail: waiting for them, there were twenty men and women dressed in leathers, led by Renal Bloodscalp himself.


The small army then moved to the Temple District, where five Watchers joined them and finally, they went to the Order Headquarters to gather the paladins. Before Meg could even approach the doors, Keldorn came out of the building, a wide smile on his face.


"Well met, my friends, I’m glad to see you again", the Tormtar greeted the party members, his eyes then fixing on Imoen, "And this lovely young lady must be Imoen, your missing friend". The pink-haired thief nodded and extended her hand, "Yep, that’s me, Imoen the Great! Nice to meet ya".


"Pleased to meet you as well. I am Keldorn Firecam", he said, giving her a brief hand-kissing. "Well now, I leave you alone for five seconds and you already find a replacement for me, uh?", an amused female voice came from behind him and the paladin turned with a soft chuckle. "I could never replace you, beloved, you know that".


"Yes, I know, but I wanted to hear you say that", the stranger replied, winking: she was a stunning woman in her early thirties, with a long braid of midnight-black hair, slightly slanted eyes the same shade of green as jade, golden-tanned skin and full lips and the rose red armour she wore marked her as a Tormtar paladin who had achieved the rank of Faithblade, "Are these the people you told me about, honey? The ones who helped you against the Beholder?".


"Yes, it is them", Keldorn put a hand on her shoulder and his eyes shone with both love and pride as he regarded her, "My friends, allow me to introduce my soon to be wife: lady Sunny Harbenger". She bowed with a radiant smile, "Pleased to meet you at last. My darling has told me a lot about you and I am grateful for the help you gave him in that dangerous mission. I hope that the help I can give you in the upcoming fight will be enough to repay you for it". Meg returned her smile, feeling like a burden had been lifted from her heart, "Thank you, lady Sunny".


While they were speaking, fifteen more paladins exited the Order headquarters and among them was another familiar face: lady Castalia walked up to the party members with a grin, the legendary sword Carsomry safely stored in the scabbard on her back and a blue-haired man by her side. "Hello there, people!", she greeted them, waving a hand in a very un-paladinish way, "Seems like we always meet when there’s some monster to slay, uh?".


"I fear this enemy will be harder to slay than Firkraag", the Painbearer replied, "Bodhi is a powerful Vampire and she has many undead minions at her disposal to throw at us". The stranger with blue hair, probably a Tiefling by his looks, beamed enthusiastically at that, "A lair full of undead? That’s magnificent! It will surely be an epic fight, one I will be more than happy to write down for posterity!


And of course, you will be the main character of the story, my enchanting nightingale", he added in a purr, stroking Castalia’s cheek and letting his hand slide slowly down her neck in a sensual caress. "Cool down, sparrow, now is not the time for this", she chided him gently, moving his hand away from her body, "I promise that I’ll be all yours as soon as we are back in my quarters, all right?".


He let out an exaggeratedly dramatic sigh, "As you wish, cruel and beautiful nightingale. But this bard will make sure that you hold to your word". "Oh, I will hold so much more than just that", she whispered in his ear as her left hand, unnoticed, slipped downwards and suddenly gave his backside a firm slap.


The Tiefling started and his eyes widened in mock-outrage, "My lady! How can you subject your poor sparrow to such a cruel treatment?". Her lips curved in a mischievous grin, "Well, you can always pay me back later, my sexy sparrow". "Rest assured that I will, my wonderful muse".


Keldorn cleared his throat loudly, his cheeks were a bit flushed, "If everyone is ready, we shall make our way to the Graveyard District while the Sun is still shining. Onwards!". The female Tyrran rolled her eyes, but she took her place in formation, Haer’Dalis at her side and along with her brothers and sisters of the Order, she began marching towards their destination.

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